Car companies aren’t the only ones. Forward-thinking companies, like Snap Inc. and Pandora, are using voice to create customer experiences on their mobile apps that go beyond touch, type, and swipe-only interfaces. Financial institutions, like Bank of America, are making customer service personal, convenient, and always-on.
Mastercard, and others, are crossing lines of business to create convenient, frictionless, and hygienic solutions for their business partners. TV manufacturers and other home device companies are finding ways to create value beyond simply giving their customers the ability to change the channel—and they’re doing it with voice user interfaces.
The difference between the successful implementations of voice assistants and those that turn into glorified egg timers is one key element: compelling experiences through customization. The question companies need to ask now is, “Are we creating a voice-first strategy that includes a customized experience that will improve customer satisfaction, enhance brand affinity, and inform the product roadmap?” If the answer is no, or if you aren’t sure, it’s time to overcome the internal obstacles and develop a strategy that will carry your company into the rapidly evolving future of voice AI.
Give your brand a voice
Owning your voice experience is so much more that having a wake word or wake phrase that triggers access to your content—although a branded wake word is part of the experience. True experience ownership requires a voice assistant that has been developed specifically with your users in mind. Your voice assistant should facilitate a conversation between you and your user, allowing you to collect data and information about their interactions—data that you will use to improve both the customer experience as well as your product’s functionality.
Your custom voice assistant should literally become your brand voice—helping to define who you are as a company and expressing your unique personality. Voice technology opens up a new way for brands to build emotional connections with customers, but only if those connections are direct and consistent across channels.
If you already have a brand experience that your customers recognize, why would you create confusion by handing over your brand to a third-party voice assistant who can neither express your personality nor deliver a compelling experience. Furthermore, why would you allow another entity to collect and analyze your customer’s preferences and user experiences?